By looking at our Christmas card, you know who I’m talking about.
Oh yes, my husband and I were spoiled with the arrival of our first born… sweet, angel-boy Jonah. Rarely a tantrum. Never a handful.
Then came along Zoe. Or as we refer to her…“Rotten”, “Crazy-girl”, and my favorite, “Spaz-Zo.”
She is what others referred to as “our payback.”
So, this past week she’s been more Jekyll-and-Hyde-mannered than usual. In fact, she reached the all-time timeout record.
Then I remembered a co-worker told me about a book called Raising Your Spirited Child. When other children are at about a 10, the spirited child is at about an 11. They’re “more of everything”… more energetic, more emotional, more sensitive, more aggressive, etc.
Anyway, I found a BabyCenter® article that offers some tips from the book. Here are just a few points that stood out:
First, I need to stop calling her Spaz-Zo.
The article says “try not to label” your spirited child. Instead, use positive labels. So maybe I should try calling her “Pizzaz-Zo.”
Reinforce good behavior.
I should really improve on rewarding Pizzaz-Zo when she’s good. That way she realizes that good behavior—rather than bad—gets Mommy’s and Daddy’s attention.
Tell her what’s coming.
Even though Pizzaz-Zo is still struggling with her words, she definitely understands what we say to her. I should do a better job of keeping her informed on what we’re doing next. Maybe this will help prevent meltdowns when it’s time to eat or time to leave the park.
I might try to get this book and read it over my Christmas break. If you’re a parent of a spirited child, I would appreciate any other tips. Have a great holiday!